We were so used to seeing Toyota win this season that the two consecutive defeats in Finland and then Ypres came as a surprise. The Japanese team lost the battle against Hyundai in the last two WRC meetings. Still well placed, the Yaris Rally1 failed to perform and had to bow out to Ott Tänak.
In the Acropolis Race, Toyota aims to stop the mighty Hyundai. “After coming very close to victory in the last two meetings, we go to Greece with a strong desire to win.insists Jari-Matti Latvala, director of the team. We know it won’t be easy, the Acropolis is a legendary meeting and it’s good to have it back on the calendar since last year. »
Generally better than the Hyundai i20 during gravel rallies, the Yaris is once again the favorite of the Greek event. All eyes will be on Kalle Rovanperä. The championship leader can win the title in Greece, a few weeks after his big crash in Ypres. The Finn has faith in his team manager. “We have seen that gravel roads are not as bad as they used to be. This means that, although reliability is always very important, we must also have a good level of performance.explains the former WRC driver. Kalle won a big victory last year in difficult conditions (…). Repeating this will be difficult as it will open up the road, especially as most of Friday’s stages are run only once. But Kalle has handled this challenge very well so far this season. »
Second match point for Rovanperä in Greece
For the head in charge, the Acropolis Rally is the very first opportunity to get after his mistakes in Ypres. “Belgium was a difficult weekend for us. In Greece we have to get back to where we should be and try to have a good meeting.”believes the 21-year-old driver. Kalle Rovanperä will have the second point of the match at the Acropolis, but he will need a very good situation to win the title. “The championship is not over until it’s over, so we can’t think too much about it. We just try to get points in every event and control what we can. »
The overall winner of the Acropolis Rally, the Toyota driver is hoping that the weather will help him keep his fortunes. “Greece was a very good meeting for us last year, but our position this time will depend a lot on the weather. If it is dry, I think it will be very difficult for us to open the road on Friday. If so, it will probably not be easier for our opponents behind us, and we hope that we can still do better. »
Toyota is expected during the shift
Toyota is heading to Greece with its usual armada, made up of Kalle Rovanperä, Elfin Evans and Esapekka Lappi, who will discover the Acropolis Rally in the WRC. “In Greece we will continue with something that I do not know at all. I have done the meeting once before, in 2014, when it was the ERC round, but half the course was on asphalt. There will be many new things to discover” says Finn. After two lackluster meetings, Toyota is expected to return to the top step of the podium.
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